Yesterday I had to go to base to get a blood test. The day of my miscarriage my pregnancy hormone level was 19,000. Two days later it was 3600. Yesterday it was 140, so I still have to get another test next week.
The kids and I did our school routine in the morning, then packed up and made the half-hour drive to the base hospital. We met Ted at the lab, and I was in and out very quickly. (I had to call the women's health clinic when I got home to find out what the level was, so there was really no wait.)
Then we drove to a park near the building where Ted works for a picnic lunch. The sun was shining and the air was quite warm...until we got halfway through our lunch and discovered the wind was kicking up. The kids were running around by this point, so it didn't seem to bother them. Ted headed back to work, and I let the kids play for a bit before we went to the commissary for some groceries. I figured if we had to make the drive to base, we might as well make it worth it!
Armed with animal crackers, water, books, and a magnadoodle, we proceeded to wind our way through the store, packing far more into my cart than I originally had planned. But, as I mentioned, I figured we had better make this trip to base count! The children were wonderful, with the 2-minute exception right before we went into the store when we had to choose 2 out of 3 kids to ride in the "drivers' seats" in the special cart. Charis reluctantly gave up her spot to Arden, who doesn't understand taking turns and only sees that he is the only one NOT in a cool seat! I promised that halfway through she and Tobin would switch, and peace reigned. I pushed the cart with groceries and pulled the kiddos behind me. We made our way up and down the aisles with little trouble and quickly found ourselves in the checkout line. Thank goodness it wasn't as crowded as it sometimes is!
As I was finishing putting the groceries on the conveyor belt, I sent Tobin ahead with the empty cart to push it through while I helped Arden get his shoes back on and made sure Charis was buckling her own shoes. An elderly lady on a motorized cart pulled up behind me, and we had this short exchange.
"Are all these children yours?" she asked.
"Yes, they are."
"Oh, my. The Lord has surely blessed you."
Though the past couple of weeks have been a challenge, I was able to look this dear lady in the eye and reply, "Yes, ma'am, He certainly has blessed us." I turned to pay the cashier and found that one of my two coupons had expired. Oh, well. I suppose a 25 cent savings is better than nothing! After I paid and was shoving the grocery money envelope back into my bag and preparing to get the kids out of the cart, the lady motioned to me. She leaned down, holding her wallet out, and whispered, "Would you allow me to bless your children with some money?"
A lump formed in my throat. It doesn't take much these days to bring tears to my eyes, and I could hardly speak. "If that is something you feel the Lord wants you to do..."
"Oh, yes," she said. "Please." She handed me a $20 bill. "May God bless you."
"Thank you," I whispered, blinking back tears as best I could. "May He bless you also."
With my bagger ready to whisk our groceries out to our van, I turned to gather the children and leave. I will likely never see this lady again, but I pray God will bless her heart as she did mine. It's not that we needed the money--it's simply that she was touched by watching my children and wanted to somehow share her joy with me. She had no way of knowing that we recently had to say goodbye to a child whom we will not see until we reach heaven, but I hope one day to introduce her to little Aliana and share the story of a God-fearing lady who gave me joy during a difficult time in my life.